Mar 09. House of Commons: Defence Debate. The House of Commons is due to debate Defence in the UK on Thu 26 Mar 09. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/13, 23 Mar 09)
24 Mar 09. Publication of the Defence Committee’s Fifth Report of Session 2008-09: Ministry of Defence Annual Report and Accounts 2007–08. The Defence Committee will be publishing its Fifth Report of Session 2008–09, Ministry of Defence Annual Report and Accounts 2007-08, HC 214, on Monday 30 March at 00.01 am, with embargoed copies available from 11.00 am Friday 27 March 2009.
House of Lords Written Answers for 23 March 2009
Armed Forces: Nimrod
Asked by Lord Astor of Hever: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the reasons for the delay in providing replacement fuel seals for the Nimrod fleet. [HL2191]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The work to replace fuel seals on the Nimrod fleet was delayed by the requirement to manufacture a large number of new seals which the manufacturer did not hold in stock. In the case of one particular type, known as the AVIMO seal, it was also necessary to remanufacture the item from a more modern material.
Asked by Lord Astor of Hever: To ask Her Majesty’s Government when all aircraft in the Nimrod fleet will be able to return to operations after modification to fuel seals and engine bay hot air ducts. [HL2192]
Baroness Taylor of Bolton: Nimrod aircraft will not fly after 31 March 2009 unless the engine bay hot air ducts have been replaced. There will be sufficient Nimrod aircraft available to continue to support all anticipated homeland defence and SAR operations and, on current planning, Nimrod aircraft will return to overseas operations by early summer 2009. During this period we will use other UK and coalition assets to maintain an effective surveillance capability overseas. The replacement of fuel seals does not affect the availability of Nimrod aircraft for operations either in UK or overseas.
House of Lords Written Answers for 24 March 2009
Armed Forces: Urgent Operational Requirements
Asked by Lord Moonie: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the annual amount spent on urgent operational requirements by the Ministry of Defence in each year since 2002—03; in each case, how much of that amount was funded from the Ministry of Defence budget and how much was funded from HM Treasury’s contingency reserve. [HL1901]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The approval cost of urgent operational requirements (UOR) per year is shown in the table below:
Financial Year Approval cost
2002-03 £500 million
2003-04 £180 million
2004-05 £130 million
2005-06 £260 million
2006-07 £790 million
2007-08 £1,550 million
2008-09 £800 million
For FY2008-09, the figure given is the anticipated approval for the financial year, noting that the financial year is not yet complete.
UOR figures are collated as approvals rather than expenditure; the answer is therefore couched in those terms. We do not have robust information on previous UOR expenditure, because these figures have not been collated centrally. UORs are normally funded from the reserve and not subject to repayment. There are however occasions when an urgent capability will also bring long-term benefit to the MoD, and it is therefore appropriate for the MoD to contribute to the cost of the UOR. Equally, existing funded programmes in the MoD’s forward equipment plan may be brought forward for urgent operational reasons, and if reserve funding is provided to meet the urgent requirement, it may be subject to repayment.
Exact proportions of any cost-share will vary according to the particular projects and final costs and are not held centrally. An exact breakdown of costs to the MoD and the reserve for all UORs could only be provided at disproportionate cost.